Michele Kearney's Nuclear Wire

Major News and Commentary Military and Civilian Nuclear Activities

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Heinonen Pushed Dubious Iran Nuclear Weapons Intel Analysis by Gareth Porter*

http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=52043


Heinonen Pushed Dubious Iran Nuclear Weapons Intel Analysis by Gareth Porter*

Friday, July 2, 2010

Finland agrees on development of 2 nuclear plants

Finland agrees on development of 2 nuclear plants
The Finnish Parliament on Thursday voted to support the applications of both Teollisuuden Voima, or TVO, and Fennovoima to develop nuclear plants in the country. TVO is building a new-generation EPR-model plant with Areva at Olkiluoto, while Fennovoima has yet to announce the site for its facility. The companies hope to begin operating the plants by 2020. The New York Times (free registration)

Environmental groups press Obama to take stronger lead on climate

President Obama is urged to push harder on climate legislation
President Barack Obama is being asked by environmental groups to take stronger measures to ensure the Senate takes up climate-and-energy legislation this summer. "I think it absolutely is doable and we can pass a bill with an enforceable carbon limit before the August recess," said Fred Krupp, an executive of the Environmental Defense Fund. The president has to "directly engage with his staff at a detailed level" to produce a proposal that can secure 60 votes in the Senate, Krupp added. The Hill/E2 Wire blog

Idaho officials applaud Yucca Mountain move

Yucca ruling earns support of Idaho lawmakers
Idaho lawmakers welcomed a ruling that rejected the Energy Department's request to terminate the application for the Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste project. Rep. Mike Sampson, R-Idaho, said Energy Secretary Steven Chu could not abandon the application because Congress picked and approved the site. Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, said the decision to withdraw the application was politically motivated. The Times-News (Twin Falls, Idaho)

Yucca remains an option The Oregonian Editorial Board

U.S. should stick to Yucca project until other options are found
Supporters of nuclear energy should applaud a ruling that blocked the Obama administration's move to abandon the Yucca Mountain waste project, according to this editorial in The Oregonian. The federal government never pretended it has an alternative site for safely keeping nuclear waste, and until someone does have a better plan, it is pointless to terminate Yucca, the editorial board writes. The Oregonian (Portland)

Hoyer: Calvert Cliffs first in line for nuclear loan guarantee

Lawmaker: Md. nuclear project is "first in line" for loan guarantee
The Constellation Energy-EDF joint venture to construct a nuclear plant at Calvert Cliffs in Maryland is now the "first in line" to secure a loan guarantee from the federal government, said Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md. Though the project has yet to receive final approval for the guarantee, Hoyer said he is keeping in touch with federal officials on the matter. "I have been pushing very hard to get an approval of loan guarantees," he said. "And we're making progress." The Sun (Baltimore)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

State Grid Guns for China’s Smart Grid

State Grid Prods China to Restrict Foreign Smart-Grid Contracts

China's State Grid, which controls transmission for most of the country, pressed the government for new smart-grid standards that would hinder foreign investment, the Wall Street Journal reported on its China Real Time Report blog. The blog entry said that Wang Yimin, head of its smart-grid department, told the state-run China Daily "that the company hopes to use its role to help keep its dominance in grid building and equipment supply."


Companies such as General Electric and Siemens have anticipated large contracts since China was considered willing to spend $60 billion to $100 billion during the decade on smart grid projects. The blog said: "Where Chinese suppliers of conventional power equipment can sell cheaply, foreign players think they have an edge on cutting-edge technology. But if State Grid has its way, that edge could be dulled."

Wall Street Journal China Real Time Report blog, June 30.

Iran's first nuclear power plant to run in September: atomic chief

Iran's First Nuclear Power Plant to Go Online in September

Ali-Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said the country's first nuclear power plant would go online in September, Xinhua reported, citing the Iranian Student's News Agency. Salehi was quoted as saying: "Bushehr nuclear plant is due to run by mid September. We are satisfied with cooperating with Russians and now 3,000 experts from the country [Russia] are working in the plant. The power plant is undergoing the last phase of its final test." The 1,000-MW power plant was constructed in the mid 1970s by Siemans, but abandoned in 1979. Iran and Russia signed a contract in 1995 to finish the plant.

Xinhua, June 30.

FPL President addresses renewable and nuclear energy, and criticism of the utility

FPL chief: Nuclear upgrades could have helped lower fuel costs
Armando Olivera, president of Florida Power & Light, said he wishes the utility had more nuclear energy to help lower costs. Ratepayers could have saved about $1.2 billion in fuel expenses had FPL upgraded its Turkey Point and St. Lucie plants five years ago. The utility is working to secure permits for the possible construction of two new reactors at Turkey Point, but it is uncertain whether the project will be completed, he added. Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)/House Keys blog

NRC sets schedule for Yucca Mountain appeals

NRC schedules dates for appeals on initial Yucca ruling
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has set July dates for appeals and arguments on an initial ruling that denied the Energy Department's move to abandon the Yucca Mountain repository project. This is a sign that the agency wants to resolve the issue quickly, said lawyers and officials who follow the issue. Las Vegas Review-Journal

Waxman to press for carbon curbs in House-Senate conference

Waxman to press for carbon curbs in House-Senate conference
Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said he will use a House-Senate conference to push for emission curbs if the Senate advances energy legislation this summer without climate provisions. A cap on carbon "would be open in conference to consider because our bill has it," said Waxman, who authored a broad climate-and-energy bill that cleared the House last year. Legislation that puts a price on carbon would give industry the "right market signal" to develop low-emissions technologies, Waxman added. The Hill/E2 Wire blog

Canadian province is in talks with AREVA for 2nd nuclear reactor

Canadian province is in talks with AREVA for 2nd nuclear reactor
The government of New Brunswick is discussing with AREVA the possibility of building a second nuclear reactor in the province. The move indicates the provincial government is losing interest in Atomic Energy of Canada's proposal to develop a second reactor. CBC.ca (Canada)

Korea's Doosan lands $3.9B contract for UAE nuclear project

Korea's Doosan lands $3.9B contract for UAE nuclear project
Doosan Heavy Industries announced it has signed a $3.9 billion contract to provide nuclear reactors and other equipment for a project in the United Arab Emirates. Doosan will supply the reactors to a consortium led by Korea Electric that landed an $18.6 billion contract in December to build four nuclear plants in the Emirates by 2020. Bloomberg Businessweek

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Egypt is learning nuclear-plant design, technology from Russia

Egypt is learning nuclear-plant design, technology from Russia
Russia's Rosatom is conducting a two-day workshop to instruct Egyptian energy officials on Russian nuclear technology and plant design, according to Egypt's energy ministry. Egypt plans to have four nuclear plants by 2025, with the first to begin running in 2019. Reuters

Obama wants carbon curbs in energy bill

Obama wants carbon curbs in energy bill
President Barack Obama wants the Senate to advance energy legislation that puts a price on carbon emissions, according to Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., who were among the multiparty group of lawmakers that met with the president Tuesday to discuss energy reform. But a White House statement released after the meeting indicated that Obama is also inviting suggestions that do not involve pricing carbon. The Hill/E2 Wire blog (6/29)

New Mexico facility begins enriched-uranium production

New Mexico facility begins enriched-uranium production
The former National Enrichment Facility, now called URENCO USA, in Eunice, N.M., started enriching uranium Friday after securing authorization from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on June 10. The site received shipments of uranium hexafluoride feedstock beginning June 13. The facility is expected to eventually provide enough material to help meet about 10% of U.S. electricity needs, the company said. Nuclear Engineering International (6/29)

Administration Cannot Drop Bid for Nuclear Waste Dump in Nevada, Panel Finds

Administration Cannot Drop Bid for Nuclear Waste Dump in Nevada, Panel Finds

NRC panel rules against withdrawal of Yucca project application
A three-judge panel from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission blocked the Energy Department's move to withdraw its application for building a nuclear-waste repository at Nevada's Yucca Mountain. The judges said the department lacked the authority to abandon the petition, as doing so would violate a law approved by Congress. The New York Times (free registration) (6/29)

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/30/science/earth/30nuke.html?src=mv

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Japan's new civil nuclear diplomacy P.S. Suryanarayana

Japan's new civil nuclear diplomacy
P.S. Suryanarayana
http://www.hindu.com/2010/06/29/stories/2010062951871100.htm

NEI files amicus brief supporting challenges to DOE's Yucca Mountain license withdrawal

NEI files amicus brief supporting challenges to DOE's Yucca Mountain license withdrawal
The Nuclear Energy Institute on Monday filed a brief with the U.S. District Court of Appeals in support of a petition to prevent the Department of Energy from withdrawing its license application for the Yucca Mountain, Nev., repository for used nuclear fuel. The NEI brief supports challenges by the states of South Carolina and Washington, Aiken County, S.C., and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners to DOE's request to withdraw its license application for the Yucca Mountain disposal facility. NEI filed the brief as "amicus curiae," or "friend of the court." (More)

Areva hopes to play major part in U.S. nuclear revival

Areva hopes to play major part in U.S. nuclear revival
Areva is optimistic that the U.S. could generate major revenue once it resumes building nuclear plants, said Anne Lauvergeon, the company's CEO. Areva recently received a $2 billion federal loan guarantee to build a uranium-enrichment facility in Idaho. Forbes/The Energy Source blog

http://blogs.forbes.com/energysource/2010/06/28/areva-chief-talks-power/

Senators introduce bill containing key incentives for nuclear

Senators introduce bill containing key incentives for nuclear
Republican Sens. Richard Burr and Saxby Chambliss unveiled legislation that would boost production of nuclear energy and natural gas to curb the country's carbon emissions. The measure would offer additional loan guarantees for nuclear plants, provide a 15-year accelerated depreciation for new facilities and set standards for recycling used fuel. Platts

Experts weigh in on EPA's carbon rules, climate legislation

Should the EPA set rules for greenhouse gases, or wait for Congress to act?

Experts weigh in on EPA's carbon rules, climate legislation
Although Congress has more power than the Environmental Protection Agency to create a climate-change program that can be part of a national energy policy, EPA regulation is preferable to legislation that is soft on pollution, according to Reid Detchon, an executive at the United Nations Foundation. Meanwhile, Richard Revesz, dean of New York University's School of Law, says that the EPA must advance climate rules with a market-based approach that will not conflict with future legislation. The Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/28/AR2010062803823.html

B&W exec says nuclear must be part of world's energy mix

B&W exec says nuclear must be part of world's energy mix
Rich Killion, president and chief operating officer of Babcock & Wilcox Power Generation Group, said nuclear power plants will have to be included in the global energy mix. Public perception of nuclear is changing, and the industry "is on the brink of a major comeback," he said. The company been expanding its nuclear business and last year unveiled plans to construct modular plants through its mPower unit. Akron Beacon Journal (Ohio)

http://www.ohio.com/news/97285694.html

Sweden to build new nuclear reactors

Sweden to build new nuclear reactors
Stockholm, Sweden (UPI) Jun 18, 2010
In a significant policy change, Swedish parliamentarians this week reversed a 30-year-old ban on building new nuclear reactors. The Riksdag voted 174-172 in favor of a bill proposed by the government that would see Sweden replacing its existing 10 reactors with new ones within the next few decades. The reactors, which supply half of the country's electricity, under a plan from 1 ... read more

IAEA ready to help Egypt with nuclear programme

IAEA ready to help Egypt with nuclear programme
Cairo (AFP) June 22, 2010 - The International Atomic Energy Agency is ready to help Egypt in the construction of nuclear power stations, IAEA chief Yukiya Amano said on Tuesday during a visit to Cairo. "The agency is happy to cooperate with Egypt in its nuclear energy programme," Amano told reporters, adding that Egypt was close to finalising the project and its location. President Hosni Mubarak declared in 2007 th ... more

Argentine nuclear plans slated by Uruguay

Argentine nuclear plans slated by Uruguay
Montevideo, Uruguay (UPI) Jun 24, 2010 - In the latest twist to the growing nuclear debate in Latin America, Uruguay accused Argentina of neglecting due process of consultation before going ahead with plans to build a new nuclear power station. The first hints of a developing row over Argentina's nuclear plans came nearly a month after Brazil unveiled plans to expand its uranium processing operations, possibly with sights set ... more

http://www.nuclearpowerdaily.com/reports/Argentine_nuclear_plans_slated_by_Uruguay_999.html

Nucrane Manufacturing Now Fabricating Cranes For Nuclear Plants

Nucrane Manufacturing Now Fabricating Cranes For Nuclear Plants
Pittsburgh PA (SPX) Jun 28, 2010 - NuCrane Manufacturing (NuCrane) has begun fabricating, assembling and testing specialty cranes for nuclear power plants, including the Westinghouse-designed AP1000 plants under construction in China and those planned for future construction in the U.S. NuCrane - a joint venture between Westinghouse Electric Company subsidiary PaR Nuclear, Inc. of Shoreview, Minn., and Hutchinson Manufactur ... more

India and Canada sign civil nuclear deal

India and Canada sign civil nuclear deal
Toronto (UPI) Jun 28, 2010 - India and Canada have signed an agreement for nuclear energy cooperation, the prime ministers of both countries announced. The agreement comes 36 years after Canada placed sanctions on India after it exploded an atomic device using materials from a Canadian-made nuclear reactor. India maintained that nuclear material or equipment supplied to the country wouldn't be used for "any ... more

http://www.nuclearpowerdaily.com/reports/India_and_Canada_sign_civil_nuclear_deal_999.html

Siemens unveils growth plans in Chinese power market

Siemens unveils growth plans in Chinese power market
Frankfurt (AFP) June 28, 2010 - German industrial group Siemens said on Monday that it had raised its stake in a joint venture with Shanghai Electric of China and added that other tie-ups were in the offing. A Siemens statement said it now owned 40 percent of the Shanghai Electric Power Generation Equipment (SEPG), which installs gas and coal-powered generators as well as conventional parts for nuclear power stations. ... more

Jordan insists on right to nuclear power

Jordan insists on right to nuclear power
Amman (AFP) June 28, 2010 - Energy-poor Jordan, which is in talks with the United States to sign a nuclear cooperation deal, said Monday it does not want to give up its right to peaceful atomic power under international treaties. "We are now in continuous negotiations with the United States, and the latest round was in Washington last week," Khaled Tukan, head of Jordan's Atomic Energy Commission, told AFP. "But I ... more

http://www.nuclearpowerdaily.com/reports/Jordan_insists_on_right_to_nuclear_power_999.html

Japan starts talks with India on nuclear power

Japan starts talks with India on nuclear power
Tokyo (AFP) June 28, 2010 - Japan began the first round of talks with India in Tokyo Monday on exporting nuclear power generation technology made by technology giants such as Toshiba and Hitachi, the foreign ministry said. The first round of two-day talks are aimed at devising a treaty to allow cooperation between both sides on peaceful use of nuclear power, but no deadline to reach an agreement has been set. Fore ... more
Japan starts talks with India on nuclear power

Monday, June 28, 2010

Texas Mulls More Nuclear Reactors by Kate Galbraith

Texas looks to add 4 new reactors
Texas is angling for federal loan guarantees to add two reactors each to the Comanche Peak plant near Fort Worth and the South Texas Project in Bay City. Only 14% of electricity in Texas is supplied by nuclear power, six percentage points below the national average. Texas last opened a nuclear reactor 17 years ago. TexasTribune.org (Austin)

Seabrook Station deserves to have its license renewed By Alan Griffith

Seabrook has earned right to have its license renewed
NextEra Energy's Seabrook Station in New Hampshire is one of the best working nuclear plants in the U.S. and deserves to have its license extended, writes spokesman Alan Griffith in this response to an article questioning the renewal. The utility's workers have been efficiently generating carbon-free power for two decades, he writes, and have proven their commitment to safety and environmental protection. There is no truth to allegations that the plant has encountered "near-miss" accidents, he argues. The Telegraph (Nashua, N.H.)

Nuclear panel recommends license approval for Castle Hayne facility

NRC staff proposes clearance of GE Hitachi facility license
Nuclear Regulatory Commission personnel finalized a draft environmental statement that recommends the issuance of a license for GE Hitachi's Global Laser Enrichment plant in North Carolina. The company is pleased that the facility's license-application approval remains on track for early 2012, spokesman Michael Tetuan said. Star-News (Wilmington, N.C.)

China Guodian plans to start work on first nuclear plant next year

China Guodian plans to start work on first nuclear plant next year

China Guodian, one of the five major Chinese utilities, plans to break ground next year on its first nuclear plant, according -More-

Official: UAE has no plans for domestic enrichment or reprocessing

Official: UAE has no plans for domestic enrichment or reprocessing
from NEI SmartBrief
The United Arab Emirates plans not to enrich or reprocess uranium "as part of its utmost commitment to the peaceful use of nu -More-